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Who is Cinderella, … or Cinderfella?

Author: Donna Rohanna


Patterson Elementary School


Year: 2010

Seminar: Multi-Cultural Fairy Tales: Portals to the Humanities

Grade Level: K-3

Keywords: cinderella, literacy, Reading

School Subject(s): English, Literature

This Curriculum Unit in Literacy is written for grades K through 2, but may be adjusted to suit upper grades.  Intended to expand upon the existing Literacy curriculum of the Philadelphia Public School, this unit will cover multicultural variants of the Cinderella Story from around the world. The intension of this unit is to offer students a pathway into multicultural education using a story they are familiar with to bring awareness of the countries and cultures that exist in the world and right around them.

In reading the variants of this familiar story through the lens of other cultures, students can learn about other places and people groups while practicing the literary functions for their grade level.  Students will listen and be able to read a story. They will respond to literature, write words and sentences, and be able to summarize a story.  They will compare and contrast variants of a story and use a variety of graphic organizers to express understanding of details in a story.

Download Unit: Rohanna-Unit.pdf

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Full Unit Text
Content Objectives



Folk and fairy tale stories comprise most of the stories children hear from birth to 2nd grade.  They are used not only to entertain, but often as teaching stories about the dangers and values of life.  These very same stories are shared in many cultures around the world. Although they vary in characters, setting, and texture from one continent to the next, they remain some of the most powerful stories for teaching and learning during the early years.

Folk and fairy tales have initiated children into the ways of the world probably from time immemorial. Many have changed over time to homogenize into the variety that we often see and       hear today to meet a more generic audience, often leaving behind the tales geographic and social origins. By exposing students to a variety of multicultural renditions of a classic Fairy Tale they         can begin to relate to these stories in new ways, leading to a richer literary experience. Fairy Tales written through ethnic eyes also give a great deal of cultural information, which can result in a        richer experience for the students and students. We can then appreciate the origins and adaptations       as they have migrated through time and space.

These stories help to make sense of the world for young children. Folk and fairy tales were     not meant only for entertainment, they provide a social identity, and instill values as well as teaching lessons. In my own experience I have found that classrooms are often filled with students that either come from other countries or have families that do. Their cultures, languages, and homelands are      often forgotten in the classroom.  Their learning experiences rarely celebrate their traditions or the cultural richness from their countries.


Presently the Pennsylvania state standards do not accommodate or address the multicultural populations in our classrooms. Because folk and fairy tales have been systematically collected and classified over the past two centuries, it easy for teachers to research and locate variants modeled to   their particular class. Learning about these origins helps   students to appreciate and recognize the common humanity across cultural differences. In this unit I will examine various interpretations of several Cinderella Fairy Tales that model different cultures represented in my own classroom.




Patterson School is located at 70th and Buist Avenue in South West Philadelphia.  According

to the Philadelphia school district, records for Patterson’s demographics are stated as 87 % African American, 3% White, 6% Asian, 1% Latino, and 4% other.


In my kindergarten class those percentages become of little value in relationship

to the cultural backgrounds represented. Many of these students have roots in South America

and Southern United States. There is also a large percentage in my class, who have been born abroad     or are first generation here in the United States. For example, in my class this year 12 students are    from the continent of Africa, from the countries of Ethiopia, Mali, Sudan, Ghana, Senegal, Chad,  Kenya, the Ivory Coast, and Nigeria. There are 5 students from Asia: which include Pakistan, The Middle East, Cambodia, and China, and one student is from the West Indies. Each country has its      own culture, language, food, etiquette and style of dress. Researching the variants of the stories        from these countries has presented a rich treasure of folk and fairy tales to share with this class.



The cultures of most foreign students are all but forgotten in our present curriculum. Students in the American Classroom have to blend in. They are expected to behave and speak like everyone else, as well as understanding a culture and language that may be foreign to them.  Fortunately children are adaptable. When students hear a familiar story that has a root in their own cultural background they   light up.


By comparing and contrasting historical origins of these tales students will be able to  appreciate the richness of these stories as well as their own heritage. By reading variants from           other cultures students can see clearly how different people groups around the world share similar qualities, like dreaming, fearing, the desire to transform and to win. Though the setting may be        totally different, the characters share in the universal traits that embody the human spirit.         Introducing variants from other cultures can lead to an interest and an understanding and embracing      of those that may look different, eat different foods, or have different customs.


This presents a great opportunity for teachers to incorporate multicultural learning     experiences so that all students may benefit. I have found folk and fairy tales an excellent portal            to introduce other cultures and customs to students.  Many of the folk and fairy tales that children         are exposed to today have origins in other countries and are as old as time. Exposing students to these variants helps them to develop an appreciation and awareness of other cultures. As William McCarthy states in Cinderella In America, “They (stories) came with wave after wave of settlers, beginning   almost surely with the first Spanish settlers in Puerto Rico.  They were unambiguously documented      by 1800.  They have been collected by scholars, enthusiasts, and common folk for the at least two hundred years.”1 The Classic fairy tales we are so familiar with are not ageless. Some are often not      the best therapy for children, but they are symbolic public announcements, an intercession on behalf of oneself, of children, and of civilization. They are historical statements that    are internalized, potent     and mystifying.2


This unit will be implemented for a kindergarten class where students range in ages 5 to 6    years old. In my class at Patterson Elementary School, English is a second language for many of these students.  Their cultural backgrounds are too often forgotten in the American Classroom.  For this   reason I have chosen a wide range of Cinderella tales that have origins from other countries as well      as folk tales from around the world. I have chosen the Cinderella tale because it is a favorite story of children. I’ve chosen books with rich illustrations that would best convey the sense of culture to help students make visual connections to the text. Using picture books is a very effective way to bring the cultural identity into focus and introduce students to unfamiliar cultures.3 I see a strong need in the classroom today to explore and appreciate the many multicultural versions of fairy tales children are exposed to. Using this genre is an excellent way to introduce students to the cultural variations of  people groups around the world.


For this unit I will focus mainly on stories that have originated in the East, Middle East,    Africa, and the West Indies, along with variants from England and North America. As Joanna

Cole states in her book of  “Best Loved Folk Tales of the World,” “These stories were not invented      by a single author, instead, they are passed by word of mouth, and never told in quite the same way, often adapting to the listeners”.4 This unit will introduce various fairy tales to appreciate the cultural   and historical origins and compare them to the contemporary tales that most children are familiar      with.


Original/historical and contemporary Cinderella Fairy Tales will be used for grades K     through 2. They will be read as a unit of study over a course of a month, or longer to suit the      purpose. (There are many variants of these stories for older students that can be adjusted to              meet the literature curriculum guidelines for higher grades). Students in grades K thru 2 will            listen and respond to literature. They will be able to retell facts in a story, compare characters,       settings and outcomes, and understand that the written word contains information. This unit is    intended to expand upon the existing curriculum by incorporating folk and fairy tales from a         variety of cultures.

Historically folk and fairy tales are fictional teaching stories, meant to teach life lessons, using colorful characters and imaginary places, with rich story lines that easily hold the attention of young minds.  No matter what cultural rendition, these tales demonstrate the universality of solving problems. Folk and fairy tales open up many possibilities for young children. They learn not only about their own world, but enter a world of imagination where many problems are played out and solved. Through these stories children learn to identify between fact and fiction as well as learning valuable life lessons.

Children love the imaginary places and people that have to deal with seemingly impossible dilemmas no matter what culture or land is represented. However, in today’s classrooms many of        the cultural aspects that make people unique are not addressed or honored. When individuals feel a sense of whom they belong to, both familial and culturally, they feel a greater sense of self worth.     This empowers them to value their heritage and feel as though they have something of a value to contribute to society.

Most of the stories children hear today are versions that have been homogenized for a       general public, especially since the dilemmas are universal to mankind. However, many of these      tales have origins in foreign lands. I have chosen the Cinderella story because it is one of the oldest tales children are familiar with. Researching the history of this tale has produced some startling findings. Every continent and country seems to have a version. “Tracking these moves as they are orchestrated collectively, folkloristic ethnography contributes to understanding social communica-  tion, taking into account the conditions for producing and reproducing alternative worlds, the ways       in which participants communicate about them, and the role of such expressive behaviors in social     life.”5 Students can benefit in many ways being exposed to stories they are familiar with through         the lens of other cultures.

Reading variants of the stories students are familiar can help them to develop an awareness       of the broad spectrum of peoples around the world. This can be critical to developing their understanding and acceptance of each other. Through hearing Multicultural versions students             gain a deeper appreciation of the lands and the people. This broadens the lesson for literacy and      social studies. For this unit I will focus on variants of the Cinderella stories that highlight the cultures represented in my classroom.

Who is Cinderella?

The Cinderella story has been used as a teaching tale for centuries and has been reinvented by so many cultures that her character goes from, surprisingly cruel and vindictive to the compassionate, kind and gentile character we are so familiar with in today’s versions.6  The Cinderella Tale has generated 100’s and 1000’s of variants around the world that feature heroines of this type by various names like; Mossy Coat, and Catskin; Charles Perrault; Cendrillon, a Caribbean Cinderella; Ashenputtle, a German version; Cennerentola an Italian version, to name a very few.  Recovering Fairy Tales that have undergone a process of cultural suppression or that have succumbed to cultural amnesia has been the mission of a number of folklorists in the past decades.7

Whether a boy in Cinderfella, or Yeh-Shen, the Chinese orphan girl who caught a fish           and kept is as a pet.8  No matter where or by what name, whether boy or girl, is abused, neglected      and rejected, then magically rescued by a helping spirit in the form of a fairy godmother, a fish,             a magic pot, or even a pig, to marry and live happily ever after! It’s a story of reconciliation that children love. But, in much earlier versions such as Perrault’s “Donkeyskin” and the Grimms’ “Thousandfurs,” the theme of paternal erotic pursuit and maternal tyranny came into play,            making it an even worse family situation! In some variants she reconciles with her stepsisters            and invites them to live with her. Regardless, the negative devices that almost every girl or                boy must contend with in one way or other, either real or imagined, in a foreign land or the                 one they are familiar with, all exist in the Cinderella story. For centuries it is a story that has             been written and re-written and changed from continent to culture.  For many more references             to this tale read Jans-Jorg Uther’s “The Types of International Folktales: A classification and Bibliography based on the systems of Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson.”9 Many variants can                 be found in the “Greenwood Encyclopedia of World Folk Tales and Fairy Tales is a rich resource        for these tales.10

As Marcia Lieberman states in her book Some Day My Prince Will Come,” “Through fairy   tales children learn behavioral and associational patterns, value systems, and how to    predict the consequences of specific acts or circumstances.” She also emphasis the fact, that   many fairy tales    can acculturate women to traditional social roles.11 She quotes Karen Rowe supporting argument     that, “Such romantic tales give an alluring prophecy that marriage is an enchantment that will guard   her form the harsh realities of life and bring everlasting happiness.”12 However, Jack Zipes reminds    us in his book “Don’t Bet On The Prince,” that though traditional fairy tales have been structured according to the subordination of women, as a result of the women’s movement, this is changing.13 Students today are exposed to much worse atrocities, on the news and in our culture, if not in            their own homes.

Though all of these stories share the same motif of the poor girl or boy, they each end with the magic of transformation and triumph over evil.  And even though the Cinderella story tragically starts out in betrayal, and in earlier variants may have material that is for adults only, it is a story children love to hear. It seems that as a fairy tale coincides with experience it is censored to meet the status quo of the culture. There is something more at stake in this evolution of the Cinderella Story. Could it be victory over adversity, no matter the version, has held all generations captivated?

No other fairy tale renders so well as the “Cinderella” story the experiences of a young child in the throes of sibling rivalry and hopeless abuse. Cindrella is pushed down and degraded.  Her own interest sacrificed for others and she received no credit.  Children can relate to this from many levels.”14

Yet, in each variant, whether ancient or new, boy or girl, strange foods or domain, from        East to West, She/he is the forgotten one who is recued magically. It’s a tale that is as old as time. Everyone’s dream, no matter what culture this story is told through. It demonstrates triumph over adversity. Across continents and generations, the Cinderella Story continues to be a childhood    favorite. Reading variants of this story through the lens of other cultures has been a springboard           in my own classroom to introduce other people groups and lands to students so that they may understand the commonality that all people share through a story they love to hear.

Through the generations children have and continue to learn many lessons and morals      through fairy tales. Many historical fairy tales have transformed, often by Disney, to be accepted         by the masses and meet contemporary standards for entertainment, leaving the richness of their      origins unknown. For this unit I have focused on Cinderella stories from America, the Middle          East, Africa, the Caribbean and the East. Researching several variants of the Cinderella tale, I          have found their origins and evolution a treasury of cultural heritage that would enrich any        literature lesson. In our class we will read each tale and how it relates to the culture it stems               from. Students will compare and contrast variants. Students will be using literary devices based           on PA standards for literary skills to practice their understanding and test their knowledge of        literary functions.

The variants I will be using for this unit include the following:

  1. “Anklet for a Princess,” Lila Mehta
  2. “Cendrillon,” Robert D. San Souci
  3. “Cinderfella,” Judith Stamper
  4. “The Egyptian Cinderella,” Shirley Climo
  5. “Yen Shen – A Cinderella Story from China”, retold by Ai-Ling Louie
  6. “How A Disabled Peasant Girl Became the Chief’s Beloved Wife.” Benjamin                                         Kpangbah

The first version, “Anklet for a Princess,” is written by Lila Mehta and adapted by Meredith Brucker, published by Shens Books 2002.  The culturally distinctive aspects woven into this version are brought to life with rich and colorful illustrations done by Youshan Tang, vividly depicting the clothes and colors of Indian life.  In this version the helping spirit is Godfather Snake who hears Cinduri’s troubles, she must summon him with a magic song.  It is then that he makes it possible for her to go to the festival dressed in the most beautiful gold-threaded sari and diamond anklets, which is what is left behind after she wins the Prince’s heart.  This version is adapted from the East Indian story “Nagami,” using the rich traditions and culture of India while conveying the universal values of the Cinderella story.

The second version, “Cendrillion,” written by Robert D. San Souci, published by Simon and Schuster 1998, with rich colorful illustrations by Brian Pinkney depicting Island life. Set in the Caribbean Islands this story is told from the fairy godmother’s point of view with the feisty and magical language of the islands and a glossary of French Creole Words and Phrases that are used throughout the story.  The helper in this version is the washerwoman that Cendrillion meets at the river when she goes to wash the cloths.

The third version, “Cinderfella,” is written by Judith Stamper, published by Scholastic Books, 1998, and comically illustrated by Julie Durrell. This version is about a boy named Cinderfella.  Set in rural America, a lively tale that has the roles reversed with a boy named Cinderfella and a wild and funny story line.

The forth version is adapted by Shirley Climo, published by Harper Collins in 1989, titled “The Egyptian Cinderella.” Climo skillfully mixes fact and fable in her retelling of this ancient tale where the slipper is a rose-red golden one, and the colorful setting along the Nile in the time of Pharaohs. Rhodopis the slave was Greek, the helper a colorful Falcon. The illustrations, done by Ruth Heller, are striking as they bring to life the age of the Pharaohs in the land of Egypt.

The fifth version, “Yen-Shen,” the author Ai-Ling Louie based this version on what is known to be the oldest identified variant of the Cinderella story,10 based on Chinese manuscripts written during the T’ang dynasty between 617 and 907 AD.  Published by Philomel Books in 1982. Ai-Ling Louie, together with the illustrator Ed Young, created a classical masterpiece introducing the cultural aspects of China with watercolor panels on each page. Yeh-Shen is helped by the bones of a fish and goes to the ‘festival’ instead of a ball, her slipper golden instead of glass. For the illustrations of this book Mr. Young made two trips to China to research the traditional costumes and customs of the people in the area where this tale was set.

The sixth version, “How the Disabled Peasant Girl Became the Chief’s Beloved Wife is a retelling of a West African tale, by Benjamin Kpanghbah, one of many, in a book published as a collaboration project of the Center for Folklore and Ethnography, The University of Pennsylvania and the Agape African Senior Citizens Center in Philadelphia, 2008. This story is set in a West African village. Through the help of a dragon, a young wife with a deformed hand overcomes the plot formed against her by the Chief’s jealous wives. Watercolor by Alix McKenna



This unit is intended for grades K thru 2. Fairy Tales and Folk tales play an enormous part of           how students at this level are learning about themselves and the world around them, while            learning to read, especially with stories they love to hear.  In this unit students will:

  • Compare and contrast variants of the Cinderella Story
  • Develop understanding of a story
  • Be able to identify title, author, and illustrator of a book
  • Know beginning-middle & end of a story
  • Know the roles and characters in a story
  • Be able to locate countries on a map
  • Identify and distinguish various cultures, customs, and foods
  • Know that lessons can be learned from fairy tales
  • Use pictures and text to make meaning of a story
  • Develop concept vocabulary
  • Recall information from the text
  • Make associations and ask questions to clarify meaning
  • Make inferences and know the difference between fact and fiction
  • Be able to discuss content, describe characters, setting and main idea of a story
  • Write and draw to depict people, objects, and events in a story
  • Write words into complete sentences through model writing, interactive writing, shared writing and independent writing

It is my hope that by reading stories they love and relating to them through the focus                of their own cultures and others they will develop greater appreciation for world cultures             through literary functions.

Teaching Strategies

To achieve the objectives of this curriculum for beginning readers I will be using mostly              picture books, as these tend to focus attention and instruction, and instantly convey a visual sense         of the  culture and characters of a story.

  1. Students will be listening to a story, engaging in teacher lead questions before and after reading, and doing activities that will include whole group, small group, and independent    Students will use a variety of graphic organizers to help them with literary functions.
  2. Students will listen to a story, restate characters and events in a story, compare and contrast versions, retell, use drawings and words to describe, and invent their own stories. Variants      of the story will be available in reading baskets for students to peruse through and read independently
  3. Storyboards, block box, story webs and sentence strips will be incorporated into the lessons for student’s interactive learning. Students will engage in a variety of minds on/hands on activities to deepen their learning and appreciation of literature, which will    be guided by      PA Curriculum Standards


Students will do three whole class projects

  1. Map of Africa. Tying Literacy to Social Studies students will create a wall map of Africa. They will write the name of a country in Africa on the color shapes provided.  It will be pieced together on the class bulletin board to create the continent of Africa.  As we study the continent of Africa students will learn about people, animals and landscape.   As an art activity they will color a printed copy of an animal from the continent of Africa to be place around the board.
  2. 2. Class Fairy Tale. Students will create a Fairy Tale originated and written by the class as a whole group. Each student will contribute a page with illustrations and words, using guidelines          for characters, setting, and story to be bound and shared and placed in the class book corner.
  3. Multicultural festival. All families will be invited to share something with the class and do a 2/3 minute presentation of something about their cultural background; dress, art, customs, cooking, music, dance, etc.  A cultural food treat is welcome. Bring enough for all.

Classroom Activities

Whole class/groups


Through out the Literacy lessons students will be incorporating minds on hands on learning through: Listening to stories, identify beginning, middle and end of a story, comparing and contrasting settings in a story, writing and illustrating, identifying characters in a story, reading independently, brainstorming their own fairytale; independently and in a group, using big board (teacher led questions with students answers to create lists or sentences), story webs, block boxing events in a story (telling what happened first, next, last), and using both words and pictures to demonstrate knowledge and practice literacy skills that meet the PA Curriculum Standards.


Lesson:  Map it!


Subject:  Literacy and Social Studies


Objectives:  Students will:


* Recognize a map of the world


*  Locate continents on a map


*  Locate countries within continents


*  Listen to a story


*  Compare and contrast locations, landscape, people groups, customs and                                        cultures


Goals:  Students observe and understand:


*   That the world is composed of continents

*   That there are different countries within a continent

*   That landscape, animals, weather and people groups vary


PA Standards:  (See Appendices)



                        * Multicultural variant of Cinderella (see bibliography)


                        *  World Globe and an enlarged World Map posted on bulletin board


*  Stickers for students to pin point locations





*  Pre-reading questions about places around the world


*  Introduce story and talk about where it takes place


*  Discuss how they think it might be different


*  Listen to a story


*  Describe physical characteristic of setting


*  Students name and locate setting of this story on a map





Subject: Literacy


Objective: Students will know that:

* Stories can change and yet follow a pattern

* Stories are composed of parts and all are connected to create the whole story


Goals: Students will listen to a story and be able to name its parts on a story web

*  Title

*  Characters

*  Setting

*  Main Idea


PA Standards: See Appendices


Materials:      * Prince Cinders or Cinderfella  (see student bibliography)


*  Copies of Story Web printed outline for each student


*  Pencils, Crayons optional


Method:         * Pre-reading questions


* Introduce book


*  Read aloud


*  Post-reading questions:

What was the title of this story?

Who was it about? (Characters)

Where did this happen? (Setting)

What happened? (Main idea)

Does this story remind you of any other stories?

What was different/the same about this story?


Activities:  Students complete a pre-printed story web handout naming title, characters, setting,                  and main idea of a story. 


Closure:         * Students can take turns telling one thing they wrote

*  Class discussion comparing and contrasting other versions of Cinderella

*  Illustrate and color their favorite character or event from the story on the back of                            the page



Lesson Plan: Comparing and Contrasting 2 Cinderella Stories


Subject:  Literacy and Social Studies


Objectives: * Students will compare and contrast two versions of Cinderella Stories

from different parts of the world


Goals:  Students will:

*  Listen to two variants of the Cinderella Story

*  Be able to describe each story

*  Locate where each story takes place on the class world map

*  Compare and contrast locations and details in a story

*  Illustrate a contrasting thing from each story


PA Standards:  See Appendix


Materials:  * de Paola, Tomie. Adelita – A Mexican Cinderella” G.P. Putnam Sons, 1993.

Climo, Shirely. “The Egyptian Cinderella.” Harper Collins,1989.


Method:  Each version will be Read-aloud to the students with pre-reading introduction

and post reading questions to review the story.


Activities:  Teacher will ask leading questions to compare and contrast the two versions,

recording students answers on a Big Board in two columns with heading of

each story title at the top of each column.


*  Where did this story take place?

*  What did Cinderella’s house look like?

*  Who did Cinderella live with?

*   Who helped Cinderella?

*   Where was the party and what did it look like?

*   Did each story end the same?  Describe the difference.

*  Students will be able to explain why each story had different elements.


Closure:  * Students will draw their favorite part of each Cinderella story

*  Students share their drawings and tell something about it



Lesson Plans (1 to 4 weeks) Cinderella Stories – variants from               cultures around the world (see bibliography)


Subject:  Literacy/Multicultural Fairy Tales: Reading Cinderella Tales from around the World


Objective:  Students will:


*  Listen to a story


*  Describe characters & setting in a story


*  Locate a country on a Map


*  Retell a Story


*  Develop critical thinking skills by analyzing a story


*  Compare & Contrast characters, setting and outcomes


Goals:  Students will:


*  Listen to variants of Cinderella Stories from other cultures around the world

Over the course of a few weeks


*  Understand that stories of a specific origin can change overtime and                                                             different cultures


*  Identify countries on a map


*  Be able to name and understand differences and similarities among cultures.


PA Standards (see appendix)


Materials:  (Stories read for this unit in my class)


“Adelita, A Mexican Cinderella Story.”  Tomie de Paola.


“Anklet for Princess – A Cinderella Story from India.” Lila Mehita.


“Cinderfella.”  Scholastic.


“Cinderella.”  Charles Perrault.


“Cendrillon”. Robert D. San Souci.


“How the Disables Peasant Girl Became the Chief’s Beloved Wife.”

Benjamin Kpangbah.


” Little Gold Star – A Spanish American Cinderella Tale.” Robert D. San Souci.


“Nomi and the Magic Fish.”  Judy Sierra


“Prince Cinders.”  Babette Cole.


“The Arabian Nights, replica of the Antique Original.” Stories retold.


“The Egyptian Cinderella.”  Shirley Climo


“The Gift of the Crocodile, A Cinderella Story.” Judy Sierra.


“Yeh-Shen, A Cinderella Story from China.” Ai-Lind Louie.


(See Bibliography for more multicultural versions of the Cinderella Story)


Method: This is a general lesson which follows the daily plan for a literacy lesson and

Can be used with all of the stories listed in the student bibliography.


*  Pre-read: Questions to tap prior knowledge


*  Introduce book, Author and Title, Illustrator


* Before reading – K = What you know, W= What you want to know                                                                                     L=What you might learn

(Done on big board with whole class)


*  Discuss where this Cinderella Story takes place (Show book & a page or two)


*  Read A-loud to students


Activities: Guided Practice/Literary Skills – Post reading


*  Identify Characters in a story


*  Describe Setting


*  Sequencing events in a story – students will be able to tell what happened

First, next, and last


*  Concept Vocabulary (What does this word mean or imply?)


*  Problem/Solutions questions – Identify the problem, and tell how it was solved


*  Compare other variants


Independent Practice and/or Teacher Led: Over the course of these reading of the various Cinderella stories one of the activities below will be used to reinforce reading, writing, and understanding skills and practice.


Supplies: Paper, pencils, crayons or markers


Activities: One should be chosen to do at the end of each reading to meet the required literary                      focus and reinforce skills.

(1)        Story Board – Students will create a storyboard with teacher led questions                                                    recorded on chart paper to reinforce objectives.

*  Who were the characters in this story?

*  Where did it take place?

*  What happened?

*  How is this version different from the others? (Compare and Contrast)


(2)       Block Box – Sequencing the story, using (or sheet of paper folded in three)

Beginning – Middle – End – with an illustration for each and

a name, word or sentence to describe each illustration.


(3)        Word Webs – Teacher led at board or chart paper, teacher creates a web of

characters or events in the story.


(4)       Illustrate and name your favorite character in the story.


(5)       Recalling Characters in the story: Three fold – Each student uses a sheet of paper,                         folds it in three, and on each panel they illustrate a character in the story, writing the                name for each one.


6)         Math connection – Words that mean twelve:  Students will guess the answers

to these riddles;

*  A set of twelve is called a (dozen)

*  Twelve o’clock during the day is called (noon)

                        *  Twelve inches equals a (foot)


(7)       Picture Word Writing  (done with Egyptian Cinderella in my class)

Use symbols for objects and people to tell a story without words


(8)       Favorite Fairy Tales Chart – Students vote on 6 favorite fairy tales and create a class                    chart to show the results. (See appendix)


(9)       Multicultural Luncheon

*  Decorate the class

*  Students may wear their cultural dress

*  Music from each student’s country will be played

*  Dancing (world music – world moves)

*  Cultural Snacks

*  Reading of their favorite class Cinderella Story





(Class chart – take votes and create a poster0

                    MY FAVORITE FAIRYTALE




























BEGINNING                      MIDDLE                             END

























            You Are Invited

                   To A                            Multicultural


         In Room 102  


    May 21 at 1:30pm



                  Snacks & Music Provide

















                                        Story Web



























                                    Main Idea


Ai-Ling Louie, Yeh-Shen A Cinderella Story from China. Philomel Books, NY, 1982.                           A Cinderella adaptation which takes place in China and vividly demonstrate                Chinese culture.


Baumgatner, Barbara, Good as Gold, Stories of values from around the world.  Dorling Kindersley     Limited, 1998.                                                                                                                                                 Tales from around the world that teach about good and evil.


Burnside, Helen Marion, Arranged by, The Arabian Nights, Replica of the Antique Original.        Merrimack Publishing Corporation: (year unknown).                                                                                          Stories retold from the original Arabian Nights.


Cole, Babette.  Prince Cinders. Putnam Grosset Group, 1987.                                                                           A silly, just for fun madcap twist on the Cinderella Story featuring a male as the main         character.


Climo, Shirley. The Egyptian Cinderella. Harper Collins: 1989.                                                                A masterful retelling of the Cinderella story set in the time of Pharos of Egypt.


Climo, Shirley, The Korean Cinderella. Harper Collins, 1993.                                                                                A retelling that details the magic of a Korean girl named Pear Blossom and her                              magical world.


Climo, Shirley, The Persian Cinderella. Harper Collins, 1999.                                                                   This retold tale is one of from the Arabian Nights stories, set in fifteenth century Persia             with colorful illustrations that are true to the culture.


de Paola,Tomie, Adelita, A Mexican Cinderella Story. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1993.                                Filled with the folk art of Mexica, this Cinderella story takes place there and has                  a beautiful twist that is both funny and endearing.


de Paola, Tomie. Favorite Nursery Tales.  G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1992.                               Tomie de Paola’s retelling of many classic nursery tales his mother told him long ago.


Dyer Vuong, Lynette.  The Brocaded Slipper. Addison-Wesley, 1982.

In this Vietnam variant, Tam is mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters but is          helped by a fish until the stepmother catches and eats the fish.


Ehrlich Amy, Cinderella. Dial Books for Young Readers, NY, 1985.                                                          This adaptation recreates the feeling of Charles Perrault’s original tale with courtly                illustrations.


Garland, Sherry, Children of the Dragon-Selected Tales from Vietnam.  Harcourt, Inc, 2001.                Simple tales about the origins of plants, animals, and natural phenomena that illuminate          truths about humility, generosity, and compassion.


Greenwood Encyclopedia of folk Tales and Fairy Tales.


Grimm, the Brothers.  Translated by Ralph Manheim. Ashputtle: A Cinderella Tale From      Germany. Doubleday, 1977.                                                                                                              Rejected by her father and left to pray daily at her mother’s grave, Ashputtle is helped                              by a little bird.


Hamilton, Virginia, Her Stories-African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales.                 Blue Sky Press, 1995.                                                                                                                         A collection of lore and imaginings of African American women, told as closely as         possible to the style of stories told in a particular region.


Hickox. Rebecca.  The Golden Sandal, A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story. Holiday House,                       NY, NY. 1998.                                                                                                                                                A magical version set in the Middle East.


Hufford, Mary, ed. 2008. From West Africa to West Philadelphia:  Storytelling Traditions of   Philadelphia’s Liberian Elders. Philadelphia Center for Folklore and Ethnography,        University of Pennsylvania.                                                                                                               A collection of short fables from West Africa handed down from generation to generation. 


Martin, Rafe, & Shannon, David.  The Rough Faced Girl.  G.P. Putnam’s Sons, NY, 1992.                   Martin & Shannon weave tales telling how the yearnings for justice have been kept alive          in a Cinderella story that is framed around Algonquin Indian Folklore. Their story is a   hauntingly powerful version of this classic fairytale.


Mehta, Lila, Anklet for a Princess.  Library of Congress, 2002.

Set in India Cinduri is a humble hungry and ragged young girl who is befriended by Godfather Snake who feeds her delicacies and dresses her in gold cloth and anklets with                         bells and diamonds, to meet the prince.


Muth Jon J., Stone Soup.  Scholastic Press, 2003.                                                                             Combining the love of Zen Buddhism and Eastern culture with a favorite old trickster                             tale that celebrates the power of generosity.


Perrault, Charles.  Cinderella.  Scribners, 1954.                                                                                            In this familiar French version, Cinderella is left at home while her stepmother and          stepsisters go to the ball.  She is magically helped by a fairy godmother.


San Souci, Robert D.  Cendrillon. Simon & Shuster, 1998.                                                                          Set in a Creole setting of the Caribbean this magical story is told in the musical language             of the Islands.


San Souci, Robert D.  Little Gold Star–A Spanish American Cinderella Tale.   Harper Collins            Publishers: 2000.                                                                                                                                 This rendition combines elements from the beloved Cinderella story with elements                             from Spanish tales with lavish illustrations.


San Souci, Robert D.  SootFace, An Ojibwa Cinderella Story. Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for      Young Readers, 1994.                                                                                                                        This retold translation, with vivid illustrations, is a well-known tale of the Northeastand Great   Lakes tribes and a tale known widely among the Native Peoples of North           America.


Schroeder, Alan.  Smoky Mountain Rose, An Appalachian Cinderella.  Dial Books for Young       Readers, 1997.                                                                                                                                                            Set in the Smokey Mountains, with characters and setting and rich illustrations, Rose                              loses her glass slipper at a party given by the rich feller on the other side of the creek.


Shannon, George,  Still More Stories To Solve, Fourteen Folktales from around the World.      Greenwillow Books, NY, 1994.                                                                                            Fourteen folktales in which there is a mystery or problem to solve before the resolution is presented.


Sierra, Judy. The Gift of the Crocodile, A Cinderella Story.  Simon & Shuster, 2000.                           A tale from the Spice Islands in Indonesia, offers a colorful and dramatic twist on            the       universally adored Cinderella Story.


Stamper, Judith.  Cinderfella.  Scholastic: 1998.                                                                                          A quirky version with a boy named Cinderfella.


Zwerger, Lisbeth, Illustrator, Aesop’s Fables. Neugebauer Press, Salzburg, Austria, 1989.             A collection of Aesop’s Fables that deal with positive over negative behaviors.

Annotated Bibliography


Carter, Peter.  Grimms’ Fairy Tales, translated by, Oxford University Press, 1982.

Faithful to the spirit and tone of the original stories, Peter Carter adds

a novelist’s flair for narrative pace and vivid imagery to these translations.


Cole, Joanna.  Best – Loved Folktales of the World. Anchor Books, 1982.

A collection of over 200 folk and fairy tales that offer insight to stories

gathered from all over the world and arranged geographically.


The Greenwood Encyclopedia of World Folklore and Folklife. Volume 1 Theme, Africa

Australia and Oceania.  Edited by William M. Clements, Advisory Editor, Thomas

A Green.  Greenwood Press, 2006.

A complete collection of Folk and Fairy Tales.


Haviland, Virginia.  Favorite Fairy Tales, Told Around the World, retold by Virginia  Haviland.                Little   Brown and Company, 1911.                                                                                                               A collection of favorite stories from sixteen countries around the world.


Hufford, Mary, ed. 2008. From West Africa to West Philadelphia:  Storytelling Traditions                   of Philadelphia’s Liberian Elders.  Philadelphia: Center for Folklore and Ethnography,           University of Pennsylvania. A collection of short fables from West Africa handed down              from generation to generation. 


Manheim, Ralph. Grimms’ Tales for Young and Old, the Complete Stories, translated by,              Doubleday & Company, Inc. 1977                                                                                                    A translation, considered modern, at the publishing date, of the entire collection of Folk                       and Fairy tales written by the Brothers Grimm.


McCarthy, William Bernard, Cinderella in America. University Press of Mississippi, 2007.                  A broad scholarly collection of folk and Fairy Tales from across the United States.


Polette, Nancy.  Eight Cinderellas. Pieces of Learning, 1994.                                                                     Eight Cinderella stories from around the world are highlighted with projects to explore               and deepen the lesson using a variety of literacy skills.


Tatar, Maria, The Classic Fairy Tales. W.W. Norton & Company, NY, NY. 1999.               Examining the cultural implication and critical history Tartar explores and reveals the                     range and play of classic fairytales over time.


Yolen, Jane, Edited by, Favorite Folk Folktales from Around the World. Vasilisa The                Beautiful – (Russia) p.335. Pantheon Books, NY, 1986                                                                        One Hundred and sixty well known and lesser-known fairy tales grouped                                                 thematically takes us around the world to distant places on a magical, mystical                           ride.


Zipes, Jack, Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, NY, NY, 2006. 2nd Edition.                                                                                                                                       A discourse on Fairytales demonstrating how writers and collectors of tales use traditional     forms and genres to shape children’s behavior, values, and relationship to       society.

Zipes, Jack.  Happily After – Fairy Tales, Children and the Culture Industry. Routledge, NY,       London.

Familiar wonder-tale story patterns that demonstrate the wonder of magical       helpers, multiple tests, and winning the prize.


Web Sites A wide range collection of American Folklore, Myths, Legends, etc.   (Accessed March 3) An exhaustive site for teachers including Folk and Fairy        Tales. (Accessed March 5) Theme page with links to folk and fairy Tale stories,     with     many lesson plans, and activities. (Accessed April 3) This is a starting point for educators to           spend hours refining your scholarly study of Fairy Tales. (accessed April 5) Animated and narrated Folk and Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm,         featuring cartoon characters. (Accessed April 10) A collection of Fairy Tales (accessed April 12) O’Looney Magaha, Jennifer A.  Using Visual Knowing Through Picture Books to Develop Cultural Identity,”               George Mason University. (accessed April 10) Arne-Thompson-Uther folktale type 510A and related         stories of persecuted heroines (Accessed April 12) Keith Schoch, Teaching with Picture Books, 2009.               (Accessed March 10


Foot Notes:


  1. McCarthy, William Bernard. Cindrella In America, A book of Folk and Fairy Tales. Univeristy Press of Mississippi/Jackson, 2007.  P.4


  1. Zipes, Jack. Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion, second edition. Routledge, 2006.



  1. National Research Council. How People Learn, Brain, Mind, Experience, and School.       p. 105


  1. Cole, Joanna. Best-Loved Folktales of the World. Anchor Books, 1982. p.xvii


  1. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of World Folk Tales and Fairy Tales. Vol 1. P. 29


  1. Tartar, Maria, The Classic Fairy Tales. W.W. Norton & Company, NY, NY, 1999
  2. 102


  1. Hearne, Besty & Trites Seelinger, Roberta, Edited by. A Narrative Compass, Stories That Guide Women’s Lives.  University of Illinois Press Urbana & Chicago, 2009.



  1. Sierra, Judy. Cinderella, The Oryx Multicultural Folktale Series. Oryx press 1992.



  1. Uther, Jans-Jorg. The Types of International Folktales: A Classification and bibliography, based on the system of Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson. Helsinki: Academia

Scientiarum Fennica 2004. (p. 293-297)


  1. (5) p. 201


  1. Lieberman, Marcia. Someday My Price Will Come, Female Acculturation Through the Fairy Tales.” (p.187)


  1. (11)


13.Zipes, Jack. Don’t Bet On The Prince.” Methuen, Inc. NY p.x


  1. Bettelheim, Bruno. The Uses of Enchantment, The Meaning and Importance of

Fairy Tales.”  ALFRED A. KNOPF, NY 1976  (chapter titled Cinderella)


PA Curriculum Standards





      1.l – Learning to read independently: Understand purpose of text.

*  Be able to identify title, author, & parts of a book,

*  Understand spoken and written language,

*  Use picture and context clue for meaning,

*  Make associations and question to clarify meaning,

*  Recall information from text,

*  Know the difference between fact and fiction.


1.2 – Reading Critically: Identify different types of genre.

* Fables Fairy tales, Folk tales, and realistic fiction.


1.3 – Reading, Analyzing, and Interpreting Literature.

*   Students will be able to discuss content,

*   Describe characters, setting and main idea of a story,

*   Respond and discuss various types of literature.



1.4 – Types of Writing:  Draw or write to inform.

*   Students will write, draw or use pictures to depict experiences,

stories, people objects or events.


      1.5 – Quality of Writing: Organizing words into complete sentences.

*  Students will be engaged in model writing, interactive writing,

shared writing, and independent writing.

Speaking and Listening


1.6 – Speaking and Listening: Participate in small and large group discussions with    assigned roles.


      1.7 – Characteristics and Functions of the English Language:

*  Identify variations in dialogue.

*  Recognize words from other languages as encountered.

Social Studies:


7.1  – Geography: Physical characteristics of places around the world.

* Identify continents and countries

* Compare and contrast landscape, animals, houses, and utensils.

7.3  – Geography:  The Human Characteristics of Places and Regions.

*  Compare and contrast clothing, culture and customs of

various countries.